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Cath lab will be ‘life changing’

A cutting-edge cardiac catheterization lab will open at Centra Southside Community Hospital on April 18.

“This catheterization lab will give patients access to minimally invasive techniques available to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease,” stated a hospital press release.

Dr. Rakesh Jain will lead the interventional cardiology program, bringing over 30 years of experience to Farmville.

“Cath labs save lives,” said hospital CEO Tom Angelo, “and bringing one to the sole hospital provider within 50 miles is life changing for our patients and their families.”

Tom Angelo

Tom Angelo

Angelo said that Jain “has an outstanding reputation and will be an excellent addition to our medical staff and community.”

The new lab will not only aid in planned procedures but also emergencies, such as heart attacks.

“Every second counts when it comes to a heart attack,” stated the hospital release. “The faster a physician can restore vital blood flow to the heart muscle the less damage there will likely be … The new cardiac catheterization lab creates the ability to have the most streamlined process for needed immediate care saving time, and lives.”

Dr. Rakesh Jain

Dr. Rakesh Jain

“I think it’s going to help a lot,” Jain said of the new lab. He said that over the last several years, hundreds of patients requiring catheterization were sent to either Richmond or Lynchburg. “What I see by offering this service is that it … people come in and they can have their catheterization there, both elective and emergent. So, one is the convenience for the patient.”

Gerald Spates

Gerald Spates

“You’re talking about an hour-plus drive,” he said of patients having to leave the Farmville area for a cath lab procedure. “We’re going to be able to do that right there, and, generally, about four hours later, they can go home if it’s just a diagnostic catheterization if they don’t have to have a balloon stent.”

The new lab, located near the emergency department, will feature the latest generation of cardiovascular technology, according to the hospital. “This technology can shorten the procedure time, potentially reduce hospital stay and offers enhanced safety by reducing radiation doses.”

“With 30 years in cardiology and 26 of those years in private practice, I have performed close to 15,000 cath and angioplasty/stents during that time,” said Jain, an interventional cardiologist at the Centra Medical Group Stroobants Cardiovascular Center.

“The way things are working right now is that if somebody comes in with a heart attack … that person right now is (flown) from Farmville to either Lynchburg or Richmond.”

Dr. Chad Hoyt

Dr. Chad Hoyt

“We know that we have a very large patient base in Farmville that has to travel quite a ways to get advanced cardiovascular care,” said Dr. Chad Hoyt, the executive and medical director of Centra’s heart and vascular center in Lynchburg. “So, any type of treatment that would need to be done in a cath lab, like stinting, or procedures like that, pacemakers, defibrillators … that’s a significant expense for the patient. They have to drive an hour, and it’s not convenient.”

Hoyt said the new cath lab would continue to elevate the offerings at the hospital.

“With what Centra’s done here with the old Roses Store and the facilities that they’ve established there and then with the improvements to the hospital, this is fantastic for us to be able to have all the capabilities that we have here now,” said Town Manager Gerald Spates. “And then, the addition of this, it just really expands those capabilities.”

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting and open house on Tuesday, April 12, from 5-6 p.m. at the Centra Southside Community Hospital lobby, located at 800 Oak St.

For more information about the new lab, or to make an appointment with a cardiologist, call  (434) 392-4370.